Verstappen wins the Belgian GP in the Formula One Grand Prix.
Verstappen took the lead after just 12 of the 44 circuits after starting from position 14 on the grid.
After the first pit stop, early leader Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) temporarily regained P1, but Verstappen was on much fresher tyres and reclaimed the lead on Lap 18. Additionally overtaking Sainz, Sergio Perez's Red Bull came in second.
Results of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix
How the Belgian Grand Prix developed
Sainz, who started on soft tires, maintained his pole advantage on the approach to Turn 1 and led ahead of Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, while Perez dropped from the front row to fifth.
Hamilton and Alonso collided on the first lap at Les Combes, sending Hamilton flying and allowing Perez, who overtook Russell just behind them, to move back up to second. Hamilton was forced to retire at Blanchimont as his car was smoking heavily. Shortly afterwards, Nicholas Latifi spun his Williams and collided with the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas at Les Combes on lap 2, leading to a safety car period.
Verstappen was in eighth place at the end of the first lap, two places ahead of Leclerc - but Leclerc pitted under the safety car after reporting smoke from the front right corner, which dropped him to 17th. The team confirmed that a breakaway helmet visor had become lodged in his brake duct.
The race resumed in the order of Sainz, Perez, Russell, Alonso, Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), Alex Albon (Williams) and Verstappen.
Verstappen, who had started on soft tires, quickly outpaced Albon at Rivage and Ricciardo at the final chicane.
By lap 7, Verstappen was already fourth after overtaking Vettel and Alonso in quick succession. He then overtook Russell with DRS on lap 8 to take third. Meanwhile, Leclerc had to fight his way through the backmarkers and was in 12th place on lap 10.
The leading Sainz just managed to stay out of DRS range of Perez, who was oddly holding off the attacking Verstappen at this point. Sainz pitted on lap 12, just before Verstappen passed Perez to take the lead. He was stuck in traffic again and had to push past Ricciardo at Pouhon, while Verstappen had a clear run at the front.
Perez stopped behind Sainz on lap 15 but ahead of Leclerc, whom he pushed wide onto the curb on the approach to Les Combes. Verstappen pitted a lap later, 4.7 seconds behind Sainz but on much fresher medium tires.
Verstappen passed Sainz with DRS on lap 18 to take the lead, and Perez took over second from Sainz three laps later.
Sainz pitted again on lap 26 and ran on hard tires until the end, while Leclerc also stopped to change more medium tires. Leclerc overtook Vettel to finish fifth, which was the best he could do after his unfortunate early retirement.
Both Red Bulls also stopped, with Verstappen winning by 17 seconds from Perez. Russell caught up with Sainz in the closing stages until he rolled over at Stavelot with four laps to go, allowing the Ferrari driver to retain his place on the podium.
Behind Russell in fourth, Leclerc stopped again to set the fastest lap on soft tires, but this allowed Alonso to pass him. He overtook Alonso on the final lap to grab fourth place, but his final lap was still six tenths off Verstappen's best time. To make matters worse, Leclerc also received a 5-second penalty for speeding in the pits, which dropped him behind Alonso anyway.
Behind Alonso, his teammate Esteban Ocon - who twice overtook two cars in one go in his Alpine - was followed by Vettel and Pierre Gasly, who finished ninth for AlphaTauri despite starting eighth in the pit lane. Albon took the final point in 10th place.